Online ISSN: 1884-4111 Print ISSN: 0033-8303
Radioisotopes 66(2): 61-75 (2017)

総説Review Article

宇宙を観測する新しい窓・重力波A New Window to Observe the Universe—Gravitational Waves—

東京大学宇宙線研究所Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, the University of Tokyo ◇ 506–1205 岐阜県飛騨市神岡町東茂住238 ◇ 238 Higashi-Mozumi, Kamioka-cho, Hida, Gifu 506–1205, Japan

発行日:2017年2月15日Published: February 15, 2017


For the first time, LIGO gravitational wave telescopes have observed gravitational waves (GWs) from a coalescence of a binary black hole on September 14th in 2015. This confirmed not only a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity in 1915, but also the existence of black holes and their binary systems in the Universe. The other GW signal on December 26th in 2015 was also confirmed later. Such multi-detection of GWs convinced us the beginning of a new era of gravitational wave astronomy. These GWs detections also justified general relativity in the regime of the extremely strong gravity field for the first time. However, the way to reach these historical GW detections was so hard that it took almost a half century to measure a 10−22 part of kilo-meters length of a laser interferometer GW detectors. In this article, I will explain the gravity and GWs in the regime of general relativity, their expected sources, a history of GW detectors development, the battle with noises in an interferometric GW detectors, results of GW detection by LIGO and future plans to detect GWs for the wider frequency ranges.

Key words: gravitational wave; binary neutron star; binary black hole; supernova; laser interferometer; ultra precise length measurement; general relativity; numerical simulation

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